A story for every victim

Keshawn Brooks, 15

Keshawn Brooks, a 15-year-old black youth, was fatally stabbed Thursday, March 12, in the 2800 block of Santa Fe Avenue in Long Beach, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

About 3:25 p.m., Brooks, a student at Rodriguez Cabrillo High School, was walking home when someone tried to grab his backpack then stabbed him, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said.

The stabbing occurred near Stephens Middle School, where students were being let out for the day. Several good Samaritans tried to help Brooks, and were at his side when emergency crews arrived.

Brooks was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:46 p.m., said Ed Winter, assistant chief of investigations for the coroner's office.

Brooks' father, Keeyon Layton, said his son was not a gang member.

"He did not deserve this," he said.

Neighbors in the area said workers at a small barbershop adjacent to the lot tried to help the teenager. Inside the shop early Friday, barbers stood quietly, trimming hair.

"We didn't really do much," a barber said. "He still died."

Giovanny Montelongo, an 18-year-old Latino, was questioned and taken into custody by Long Beach police the same day.

Montelongo was charged March 16 with murder, second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery in connection with the altercation, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The crimes include special circumstances allegations that the murder was committed during a robbery and also committed in association with a street gang.

-- Ruben Vives and Matt Hamilton

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